Considering a Low-Glycemic Diet if You're Pregnant - dummies

Considering a Low-Glycemic Diet if You’re Pregnant

By Meri Reffetto

A low-glycemic diet is such a great choice for pregnant women because you don’t have to restrict calories, you get better control of your blood sugar, and you take in lots of high-nutrient foods that are important for your baby. It also allows you to not be too restrictive during your pregnancy, which no pregnant woman ever wants to have to do.

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy leaves you at risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and varicose veins. It also poses a problem to your baby if it ends up being too big. Of course, you don’t want to lose weight during pregnancy either, even if you’re overweight. The goal is to manage your weight gain by gaining the appropriate amount.

Following are some good ranges to keep in mind for healthy weight gain during pregnancy:

  • 28–40 pounds if you were underweight before pregnancy

  • 25–37 pounds if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy

  • 15–25 pounds if you were overweight before pregnancy

One issue that many women face during pregnancy is gestational diabetes. This is a type of diabetes that appears during pregnancy and most often goes away after the pregnancy is over. A small study published in 2009 showed that women with gestational diabetes who followed a low-glycemic diet reduced their need for insulin compared to those who ate a high-glycemic diet.

More research is needed in this area, but one fact is clear: Controlling blood sugar is always the first step of a diabetic diet.

If you have gestational diabetes, make sure to let your doctor know about any diet changes because they can affect any medications you may be taking for blood sugar control and should be monitored. Also, note that with gestational diabetes, just like any other type of diabetes, you may need to follow a bit stricter protocol with a low-glycemic diet.

Don’t hesitate to get help from a registered dietitian or a certified diabetes educator when you need it.